How many switches do you have and do you use them frequently for sidings or operation?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Sylmar CA.
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How many switches do you have and do you use them frequently for sidings or operation?
Posted by V8Vega on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:40 AM

The pictures in the Consol thread of many switches got me wondering. Do any of you operate pulling trains in and out of passing sidings and shunting into industrial sidings ETC?

I have 13 switches and so far if I were doing it again I would have none as all I do is display running.

Dennis  San Fernando Valley CA.  Joined August 2009

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Posted by Michael6268 on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:00 PM

I had 18 switches on my layout. Currently we're in the process of moving and everything is in storage. When I had my layout I enjoyed switching operations. That's where most of my enjoyment came from. I even have my wife set up several long consists of cars to be switched. Then I would have her tell me which Industries and siding to put them in and what order to put them in. I would spend hours switching out all the cars into their proper sidings and sequence. Then when I finally finished that I would sit back and run trains on the mainline!

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  • From: North Bluff above Marseilles IL
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Posted by KRM on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 1:32 PM




 18 switches, 14 remote and 4 manual.


They operate 3 pull in and out park/passing sidings. 8 parking spurs and a reverse loop. All spurs and sidings are live switched and can be on or off for driving into and out of or passing. The outside loops with the 3 pull in and out park/passing sidings can be power killed and then serve as parking. 2 manual switches connect an inner loop to the main line. The other 2 manual are O27 and service parking spurs on inner loops. All the remotes function with auto de-rail and console control switches..


Joined 1-21-2011    TCA 13-68614

Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling


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Posted by tarheeltracks on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:30 PM

I have 20 switches, 7 of them are on the main line and get used the most.I only have a single track main line so they are used for sidings to let trains pass and reverse loops. The rest are for storage tracks and some industry sidings.  If the truth be known that's probably 20 switches to many!!!

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 5:39 PM

Put me down for 32, but only 21 controllers, with many turnouts thrown through diode-logic trees.  All are powered through capacitive-discharge circuits from a single small DC supply.  Many have added microswitches to switch track power to sidings and other track segments.  Some, like those in my main yard, are severely cut down.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Laurastom on Thursday, March 29, 2018 6:01 PM
My layout has 45 turnouts. They are for the freight yard, passenger yard, sidings, mainline interchanges and reverse loops. Some are used much more than others but all are used. I have no controllers of any kind for the layout. All devices are operated with an iPad using the Lionel LCS. The engines are usually run with a Cab 2 but sometimes from an iPhone.
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Posted by Nationwidelines on Thursday, March 29, 2018 8:43 PM

Zero switches, 4 independent loops of track.  Love to run the trains without issues of derailing.

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Posted by Karl Reichenbach on Friday, March 30, 2018 1:42 PM

64 turnouts, all manual except the 7 I can't reach

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Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, March 30, 2018 1:45 PM

Most of the layouts I've built (both temporary and permanent) have had switches.  I get bored quickly just watching trains go around a loop or figure eight.  I like using switches to add variety to a layout's operation.  I like to make deliveries from one point to another....whether it's delivering logs, coal, or Barbies! Wink

I have fun the more convoluted the trips are.  Switches help provide that.

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Friday, March 30, 2018 4:45 PM

I use my switches to park trains on sidings and to alter the routes.

I had about 20 switches. I actually used about 10 of them and about half of them were switching by themselves.

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Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, March 30, 2018 6:03 PM

Karl Reichenbach

64 turnouts, all manual except the 7 I can't reach

As nice as it is to use remote control switches sometimes, I have more fun with the hands-on manual switches.  I can definitely understand why you have 57 manual switches.  My kids always had more fun with the small and colorful Lionel manual dump cars than with the remote control dump cars too.


I have 12 manual and 4 remote control switches.

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Sunday, April 01, 2018 4:57 PM

Last year, we downsized and all but finished our "final" (?)Sigh layout.

There are four remaining independent lines of which, only one has switches.  3 remote and two manual. They connect to sidings which are occupied with cars removed from our dismantled display shelves.

Not really used at all but good for scenery. Thanks for asking.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Sunday, April 01, 2018 9:07 PM

Last I counted was like 38 switches, all packed away, as I do not have a layout at present. When I do not sure how many will get used, but at least I have them for when I need them, lol. 

Life's hard, even harder if your stupid  John Wayne

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Posted by artyoung on Thursday, April 05, 2018 5:09 PM

I use 2 pair of Lionel#042 manual switches and 1 #722 manual switch. I don't have a console, I just have buttons for the accessories and RCS's right at the site (makes the wiring a lot easier Big Smile).

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  • From: Jacksonville, FL
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Posted by RRCharlie on Monday, April 09, 2018 8:34 PM

On my O-Gauge level I have five o-22 switches. Three lead to sidings and two connect an inner loop to the main line. The inner loop climbs a grade to the coal tipple and then back down. All on a space 8' by 9' !!!!

Mel Hazen; Jax, FL Ride Amtrak. It's the only way to fly!!!

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Posted by dsmith on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 2:55 PM

I have 8 postwar #1122 Lionel remote switches and 2 Lionel #1022 manual switches on my 027 layout and use them all the time.  Switching is half the fun of operating trains!

  David from Dearborn  

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Posted by Jushavnfun with trains on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:36 PM

All my switches are manual now took of remotes equipment years ago.

2@ on   main loop on mainline 072 Gargrave ( they take train around  my 12 x 7 yard).  Loop #5 has 4@ 042 manual on it.

I am building a 12'  x 7' yard, accessory layout and it has 11@  manual switches 042, 072 and 110 gargraves.  I stll have 12 switches to use when I find a way to incorporated them.

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